Wireless charging to be combined with TransferJet

Devices that can wirelessly charge products while simultaneously transferring data will be shown at Computex.

The TransferJet Consortium will show devices at the Computex trade show in Taiwan next week that wirelessly charge and transfer data simultaneously.

The prototype devices are intended to demonstrate new uses for TransferJet technology, which was developed by Sony for wireless data transfers and initially shown in 2008.

The consortium aims to provide a glimpse at devices that integrate TransferJet, wireless charging and NFC (near-field communication), a wireless data transfer technology already found on some mobile devices and used mostly for mobile payments. Further details about the device types were not provided by the consortium and the organization did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

TransferJet can transmit data at a maximum theoretical rate of 560Mbps (bits per second) over a few centimeters. TransferJet is intended for use in tablets, smartphones, digital cameras and home entertainment systems. The consortium's long-term goal is to unite TransferJet, NFC and wireless charging.

The demonstration next week will not be the first in which data transmission technology device and wireless charging are doubled up. Duracell Powermat in February announced a product called the Wireless Charging Card, which is a wireless charging add-on card for smartphones that doubles as an NFC antenna.

Sony earlier this year developed TransferJet chip for use in smartphones, but the company has not said when the chip would be implemented in its devices. Toshiba showed a tablet with TransferJet data transmission technology at the Mobile World Congress in February.

Early iterations of TransferJet were used in devices like digital cameras, but the technology is still trying to find solid ground.

Wireless charging has appeared in a few devices, but companies have been slow to adopt the technology, partly because it is expensive. Wireless charging was available with Hewlett-Packard's Palm smartphones, which are now off the market. Samsung's upcoming Galaxy S III smartphone will have a wireless charging accessory.

Companies are also working together to establish standards around wireless charging. The Wireless Power Consortium has developed the Qi low-power specification, while Samsung and Qualcomm earlier this month formed the Alliance for Wireless Power to develop new technology for contactless charging of mobile devices. The Power Matters Alliance, which has Vint Cerf as its honorary chairman, is working on a wireless power specification called Power 2.0 for mobile and stationary devices.

In addition to Sony, TransferJet Consortium members include Canon, Casio Computer, Hitachi, Nikon, Olympus, Panasonic and Toshiba.

The Computex trade show will be held in Taipei June 5-9.

Agam Shah covers PCs, tablets, servers, chips and semiconductors for IDG News Service. Follow Agam on Twitter at @agamsh. Agam's e-mail address is agam_shah@idg.com

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Agam Shah

IDG News Service
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